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How to use surveys in every stage of the Employee Lifecycle

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Companies spend so much time listening to their customers and often employees are being forgotten. Without engaged employees, we believe that it is hard to run a successful organization. Monitoring Employee Experience and engagement will help you understand what your employees think and what you can do to improve on their experience, which will lead to highly engaged employees.

What is Employee Experience and why is it important?

What is Employee Experience? McKinsey defines Employee Experience as companies and their people working together to create personalized, authentic experiences that ignite passion and tap into purpose to strengthen individual, team, and company performance.

Employee Experience is extremely important for the survival of your business. Great Employee Experience will lead to higher productivity because engaged employees don’t only work harder, they also work better with their colleagues. Besides, happiness at work is contagious. Not only will your happy employees increase the happiness of other colleagues, it will also rub off on customers, resulting in higher revenue. Overall, it’s important that you spend time monitoring and improving your Employee Experience because engaged employees are the best brand ambassadors you can have.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

Simon Sinek

5 different stages of the Employee Lifecycle

Monitoring Employee Experience is not only about keeping your current employees happy and engaged. It starts the moment you begin looking for new employees until the separation with an employee. From onboarding to exit, there are many different stages in the employee lifecycle and managing Employee Experience should be a top priority in each and all of these stages.

Today, we will discuss the five most important stages and how you can make sure you perform well in every one of them.

1. Attraction & Recruitment

The moment you start looking for new employees, you are entering the first stage of the employee lifecycle. It’s no secret that hiring top talent is crucial for the success of your organization. Research tells us that one top achiever delivers the same productivity as almost 4 average employees. Nevertheless, the war for talent is tough. How can you make sure that you stand out as an employer and an organization so you attract the right talent?

It is important to highlight the competitive advantages of you as an employer. Find out with your current employees why they chose you as a company to get more insights. Or think about yourself, why did you choose to work for your current employer? Is it the values, the culture, the learning opportunities, …? Whatever the reason may be, make sure it is clear to the applicant.

Additionally, write a compelling and accurate job description. Be as specific as possible, and make sure you don’t oversell (or undersell) the position. The more clear the job description is, the less likely your new employee will leave after a few months because it was “not what they had expected” it to be.

After you went through the recruitment process, don’t forget to conduct a satisfaction survey. Even the candidates that did not get the job, can still give you valuable feedback to improve the recruitment experience. Ask questions about how long they had to wait for feedback, whether they think the process was fair, if the job description was clear, if they felt welcomed during the interview, if the application process was easy and straightforward, etc…

2. Onboarding

You’ve landed your top talent, but how do you make sure they don’t leave the job before they’ve even started? The first few months that an employee has started in their new position is called the onboarding process. Research tells us that 31% of employees leave their job within the first 6 months. This implies the importance of a smooth onboarding for every new hire.

First and foremost, make sure your company has an official onboarding process in place that is followed by every manager. You want to make sure that every new employee receives the same onboarding. If there is no official system in place, some manager might give a very extensive onboarding process and others will quickly go over it. Additionally, in the first week, new employees care the most about on-the-job training and reviewing the company policies. Also, provide opportunities to meet and network with the other members of the team and clearly communicate expectations to make your new team member feel comfortable and involved.

Lastly, regularly checking in with new hires will give you a lot of great feedback about your onboarding process. Set milestones, for example, after 1 week, 30 days, 60 days,… to send out an automatic pulse survey with a few questions to get more insights on how things are going. Don’t make your pulse survey too long and use both closed questions, that can be easily analyzed, and open-ended questions for more detailed answers. Use the feedback you get to constantly improve your onboarding process and avoid new hires leaving within the first few months. We wrote a complete article about how you can properly analyze your open-ended questions.

3. Training & Development

If you have been trying to recruit new talent, it is no secret that training and development are key to finding future employees. According to research by PwC, millennials find learning and development the most important benefit from an employer.

Provide opportunities for learning and encourage your team to think about growing opportunities themselves. Continuously developing new skills and abilities and updating current knowledge is required to keep growing as an individual and a team. Organize workshops and in-house training and/or provide your employees with a training budget that they can allocate themselves.

Check-in regularly with your employees about their learning & development wishes and use satisfaction surveys to find out if your employees are happy with their current training & development opportunities. You can ask questions about whether they feel that there are good career opportunities, if they are satisfied with the investment the organization makes for learning & development, if they are being mentored in their current role, whether there are enough opportunities to learn new skills or not,… etc

4. Retention

You’ve found the right employee, gave them the perfect onboarding experience and your are investing in their training. Now, it is important to make sure that they stay within your company. Retention is all about making sure your employees are happy and challenged enough in their current position.

There are many actions you can take to make sure your employees are happy, depending on what is possible for your organization. Think about flexible work hours, vacation days, showing appreciation, prioritize work-life balance, give your employees enough space to develop and don’t micromanage every task. Find out if your employees are engaged with an employee engagement survey and listen to their feedback. If you don’t really know what questions you can ask, we have an article with 12 questions to add to your employee engagement survey.

Another aspect that your employees value is feedback. High performing employees want to improve, that’s why the training and development phase is so important, but they also truly care about feedback. Schedule in regular feedback sessions, both face-to-face and via performance reviews, but don’t make it a one-way street. Use 360-degree feedback surveys to get even more insights on how an employee is performing on a daily basis, based on the feedback given by close colleagues. If you want to receive feedback in a structured way, a survey software like CheckMarket is necessary.

If you want to understand more about how you currently score as an employer, consider using the eNPS to easily track how you’re doing. The employee Net Promoter Score measures how likely your employees would recommend your company as a place to work. Since the eNPS is anonymous, it creates an even safer place for your employees to speak their mind. We wrote an article about everything you need to know about the eNPS.

5. Offboarding

You’ve done everything you could to provide the best work environment and experience for your employees, but sometimes a separation is inevitable. Not every employee that leaves your company is completely dissatisfied with your organization, sometimes other aspects like moving places, changing personal situations or just an opportunity they couldn’t resist, occurs.

The offboarding process of an employee is equally as important as the onboarding process. People leaving might create disruption in the team, so it is important as a manager and HR professional, you check in on your team to see how they are holding up.

The offboarding process also involves many practicalities. Think about sharing logins, training a new employee, maybe temporarily dividing tasks between the current team members, finishing projects, handing over badges and things like laptops, mobile phones, … Make sure there is a clear guideline available in your company so that every manager handles this thoroughly and nothing is being forgotten.

Lastly, it’s no surprise that people leaving your company are a great source of valuable information about the working experience. Even if you have an open culture and employees feel like they can share their experiences (both positive and negative), there will always be some kind of restraint about talking negatively about their current employer. Someone leaving on the other hand, has nothing to lose. Because it is still a delicate issue, an online exit survey can be the perfect solution.

Surveys are a valuable tool for monitoring the Employee Experience along the complete employee lifecycle. There are many opportunities to obtain feedback from your employees from the moment between the first contact they have with your organization and the moment they close the door behind them. It’s up to you to take action and get the insights you’ll need to improve the Employee Experience.

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